Supermarket own-brand luxury chocolates can be given to loved ones with confidence this Valentine’s Day, the latest Which? taste test has revealed.
Which? experts sampled nearly 200 chocolates and found that premium supermarket own labels beat some big brand names to come top of the chocs.
M&S, Waitrose and Tesco came top with M&S Belgian Collection (305g, £8.99) achieving a highest score of 73%.
The expert panel rated Waitrose Belgian Dark, Milk & White Chocolate Collection (210g, £5.99) second with a score of 69% while Tesco Finest Belgian Chocolate Assortment (200g, £5.10) came third (65%).
Tesco chocolates best for packaging
If you want to impress your loved one with tasty chocolates in fancy packaging – without forking out too much – then the Tesco chocolates could be for you.
The Which? design team gave the Tesco chocolates top marks for looks – they liked the expensive looking silver gift box. And at £2.55 per 100g, this was one of the cheaper boxes in the line-up.
Looks aren’t everything though. Lily O’Brien’s Chocolate Collection (190g, £5.12, 48%) came in a box ranked as one of the most attractive, being ‘wrapped like a present’ with a ‘sumptuous’ ribbon.
But the assortment inside was rated boring and scored lowest in the Which? taste test.
Chocolates on test
The other chocolates on test included:
- Co-operative Truly Irresistible Fairtrade Chocolates
- Lily O’Brien’s Chocolate Collection
- Lir Indulgent Luxury Chocolates
- Lindt Swiss Luxury Selection
- Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Milk White & Dark Belgian Chocolate Assortment
- Thorntons Premium Collection
For full test results and to read the full article see the March issue of Which? magazine. If you’re not a Which? member you can sign up for one month for just £1.
Best of the rest
It was a mixed bag for Thorntons. For example, the Crunchy Praline was picked out by the experts as one of the best chocolates on test on the day. But others in the assortment were much less impressive.
The panel described Lindt’s chocolates as elegant but found them disappointingly old-fashioned, with ‘classic’ packaging.
Lir’s octagonal box was ‘fun and modern’ and the chocolates had a range of ‘extreme’ flavours such as Cranberry Ganache and Crème Brûlée – but not all of them worked.
The panel of experts included: Martin Christy of Seventy%; Edd Kimber, food writer and winner of The Great British Bake Off; Jennifer Earle, food developer, consultant and owner of Chocolate Ecstasy Tours; and Sara Jayne Stanes, chief executive of the Academy of Culinary Arts and author of Chocolate – the definitive guide.
They assessed individual chocolates as well as the assortments overall, for taste, appearance, quality of the ingredients and how well the chocolates were made and finished.
They also rated how well each collection worked as a whole, and its value for money. The Which? design team judged the packaging, rating its attractiveness and ‘luxury’ quality.
- If chocolates are not for you then see some other great value Valentine’s Day gifts
- Unwanted Valentine’s presents? See our guide to returning unwanted gifts
- Make sure you know your rights when returning unwanted goods